The holiday season is here, which means dinner parties with family and friends we love. These times can also bring an uncomfortable worry of encounters that carry a certain vibe that no longer aligns with who we’ve become. There are many ways these interactions can play out in our minds, and yet we can still worry about feeling paralyzed during the dinner table conversations. It can be hard to bring yourself to accept an invitation, or you can find yourself falling into the traps of your old ways again.
In some BIPOC families, members don’t realize the harm in bringing up old partners, habits, or dispositions you’ve once experienced and expressed. Some family members and friends don’t understand how such statements or questions can trigger an avalanche of emotions that aren’t quite suitable for the dinner table. In these moments, we must remember a few things to keep us in alignment with our transformation and growth to protect ourselves from the toxicity of such encounters.
We’ve all had that feeling when the spotlight is on you over dinner, and the entire room is interested in your answer on why you’ve decided to eat a plant-based diet or what happened to the partner from last year? Without realizing how disrespected and uncomfortable these inquiries can make you feel. To meet our loved ones where they are in life, we must extend much grace to them while still protecting ourselves from all harmful and toxic energy that may arise during such events.
This protection starts with creating and communicating your energetic boundaries. Your energetic boundaries protect you from feeling drained, aggravated, or confused during or after social interactions. The energetic boundaries we put in place protect us from integrating the feelings of others into our life decisions while losing our sense of Self in the process.
Communicating these boundaries requires self-awareness and confidence. “Commitment to truth-telling lays the groundwork for the openness and honesty that is the heartbeat of love (Hooks, 2001)” Therefore, we must be willing to do the work for ourselves to protect our energy confidently. Hooks continues the narrative that we build a foundation of self-love when we see and accept ourselves. We must view the practice of self-love as a means of protection work.
In addition to energetic boundaries, it’s essential to prioritize your needs. The holiday season is ironically when most people are energetically shedding, and this is when seasonal depression is increasing, especially for those located in colder climates. It’s critical to prioritize your needs at every moment. Prioritizing your needs isn’t selfish; this allows you to ensure you can show up authentically or decline with confidence because you accept choosing yourself to protect your energy. We must starve the beast of self-sacrifice by honoring and prioritizing the Self.
“To live consciously means to seek and be aware of everything that bears on our actions, purposes, values, and goals to the best of our ability, whatever that ability may be…”
Regularly evaluating our energy allows us to live consciously and practice personal integrity. Consciously living means, we think critically about ourselves and how we feel according to our circumstances. Psychotherapist Nathaniel Braden agrees with a statement saying, “To live consciously means to seek and be aware of everything that bears on our actions, purposes, values, and goals to the best of our ability, whatever that ability may be…”
This holiday season doesn’t have to leave you feeling weighed down from expectations, opinions, and judgments. This season can be full of love and acceptance when we lead with boundaries and self-love. Without shame or guilt, we can radiate a higher frequency, completely repelling low vibrational interactions. Trust that the work you do to heal and overcome your low vibrational habits and perspectives is the same work that supports your energetic hygiene. Giving you the emotional maturity and strength to accept that sometimes people are committed to misunderstanding you.
In the words of author Lalah Delia “Vibrate Higher Daily.”